Topless man asked to be arrested

A PORTLAOISE man who took his top off in the street and asked gardaí to arrest him following a drunken dispute with his girlfriend was last week ordered to make a donation to charity to avoid a formal conviction.

A PORTLAOISE man who took his top off in the street and asked gardaí to arrest him following a drunken dispute with his girlfriend was last week ordered to make a donation to charity to avoid a formal conviction.

Michael Owens, 1 Stradbally Road, Portlaoise, was charged with failure to comply with the direction of the gardaí, at Portlaoise Garda Station on July 8.

Garda Inspector Tom Finnerty gave evidence that following a dispute at the defendant’s home, Owens’ girlfriend and another woman went to the garda station. Owens, who had drink taken, followed and at the station he acted in an aggressive manner.

Leaving the station, Owens walked across to a car park on the Abbeyleix Road where he confronted his girlfriend. He got into the woman’s car and refused to get out. Gardaí in the station heard shouting and went out to investigate and Owens was directed to get out of the car and leave the scene. At that point, Owens took his top off and asked the gardaí to arrest him.

He has no previous convictions.

Defence, Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick said her client had been out socialising with his girlfriend on the night and when they returned home a verbal argument ensued. The gardaí were called and Owens’ girlfriend and another woman left the house with the officers and went to the garda station. Owens followed on foot, Ms Fitzpatrick explained, and when he saw the car parked outside the station he decided to sit in it.

“He doesn’t have a clear recollection,” Ms Fitzpatrick admitted.

Ms Fitzpatrick said Owens was a social drinker and he had apologised the next day to the gardaí.

Judge Catherine Staines ordered that €300 be paid to the Garda Benevolent Fund and she applied the probation act.